Home insurance myths and mistakes

Home insurance myths and mistakes

Pick the odd one out: Loch Ness monster, unicorn, household insurance policy. It's a no-brainer, right? Yet you'd be surprised how many people believe in mysterious myths about their insurance that have no basis in fact. There are also certain mistakes policyholders make again and again, relying on luck to protect them as much as their policy. Let's clear away the smoke and mirrors and get factual about the biggest insurance myths and mistakes.

Monster myths

1. Accidental damage is covered by standard home insurance

If you set fire to the curtains or spill paint on your carpet don't assume your insurer will pick up the tab. This type of cover often requires an extra premium.

2. Insurance should cover the market value of your home

Think about it – if your home is destroyed, you still own the land. Rebuild costs are usually far cheaper than buying another home at market value. You don't need cover for the whole market value but you do require cover for the rebuild cost, which will include any costs for specialist characteristics.

3. Contents insurance covers all your valuables

That antique tiara might not be covered by your insurance if its value exceeds the single item limit set by your insurer. Some items may not be covered at all, especially if they’re taken outside the home. Talk to your insurance broker about high-value belongings such as jewellery and computers. You may need to take out separate insurance.

4. You will be insured if your home is empty for long periods

If you’re planning an extended holiday or some travelling abroad, spare a thought for your home insurance before you go. Most policies state that homes should not be left unoccupied for long periods of time, so check your policy or contact your home insurance broker to discuss short-term vacant home insurance – or you may not be covered for loss while you are away.

5. You must buy buildings insurance from your mortgage provider

Just because your mortgage policy is held with a particular provider, you are under no obligation to purchase home insurance from them, too. It always pays to shop around and compare what you are getting for your money, to ensure you get the best value for money.

Legendary mistakes

1. Real-life security does not match your policy description

That tiny clause in your policy about having locks on windows is important: if you say your home is more secure than it is, your insurance may be invalid. Be honest about security fittings in your home, and consider investing in improvements if they are not up to standard.

2. Not keeping your insurance details up to date

Personal changes may not necessarily affect the validity of your policy but it’s important that all details are checked regularly and your insurer is kept up to date. Policies also often have a ceiling for valuable items, so if you splash the cash on something, check with your insurer to see if it is still covered or if you need extra protection.

3. Not valuing your possessions correctly

When your insurer asks you to estimate the value of your belongings, don't be modest. Research shows people often underestimate the value of their possessions, leaving them at a loss in the event of a fire or flood. Start by walking around, room by room, and noting down the items and their value – and don’t forget your garage or outbuildings. The  Computerquote Insurance Contents Calculator makes it easy to work out the value of your contents.

4. Forgetting to value digital assets

Do you have a big digital music or film collection? Not all insurance policies cover digital loss, so check with your insurer. Otherwise you might be covered for your £50 external hard drive, but not the £1,000 worth of MP3s and movies held on it.

Computerquote Insurance - here to help

We understand that insurance can be complicated and confusing at times. That’s where we come in. We can help you find the right cover for your needs from our panel of UK insurers. Call us on 0800 389 9949 or 023 9224 7870 or get a quote online.

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